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  • South Carolina Resisting the National Standards Push

    South Carolina legislators have introduced a measure to pull the Palmetto State out of the Common Core national standards. Senator Mike Fair, who introduced the measure, voiced his concerns about the state’s involvement in the national standards push in the Greeneville News:

    The Legislature never had a chance to review Common Core because the feds timed their deadlines for adopting them to fall when the Legislature wasn’t in session. So, to qualify for a shot at Race to the Top money in 2010, the (previous) state superintendent and the (previous) governor had to agree to adopt Common Core—standards that had not even been published yet.… By the way, SC wasn’t awarded Race to the Top money, so we sold our education birthright without even getting the mess of pottage.

    Governor Nikki Haley (R–SC) recently expressed her concerns about the national standards push in an open letter, saying, “Just as we should not relinquish control of education to the federal government, neither should we cede it to the consensus of other states.”

    South Carolina’s reconsideration of the national standards push has not set well with the U.S. Department of Education, despite the fact that the department claims to be uninvolved in the effort. Education Secretary Arne Duncan issued a press release in response to South Carolina reconsidering the national standards push:

    The idea that the Common Core standards are nationally-imposed is a conspiracy theory in search of a conspiracy. The Common Core academic standards were both developed and adopted by the states, and they have widespread bipartisan support.

    Duncan’s statement is a clear indication of just how heavily involved the federal government is with the effort. It also illustrates the amount of control that Washington stands to gain once states surrender their standard-setting authority.

    The Pioneer Institute in Massachusetts just released a legal analysis of the standards push and found that the Department of Education’s involvement runs afoul of three federal laws prohibiting the federal government from getting involved in curriculum: The federal government has (1) incentivized states to adopt the standards through $4.35 billion in Race to the Top grants, (2) conditioned access to No Child Left Behind waivers on standards adoption, and (3) paid for the corresponding national assessments.

    Pioneer also found that, cumulatively, implementation of the standards will cost states some $16 billion. So South Carolina has good reason to be skeptical. Fair went on to say:

    It is argued that we need Common Core because it is more rigorous than our current standards. But South Carolina’s history standards, for example, have been rated the best in the country. The Common Core math standards have been evaluated by a Stanford University expert as putting most U.S. students two years behind students in higher achieving countries. And the English standards, according to a University of Arkansas expert, are inferior to S.C.’s current literature standards.

    If S.C. wants to improve its standards, it can do so on the state level without locking itself into a federally directed system that destroys state autonomy.

    State leaders who believe that previous state leaders have surrendered control of their standards-setting authority to national organizations and Washington have an exit strategy they can pursue. States should consider the following three strategies:

    1. Determine how the decision was made to cede the state’s standard-setting authority. States can exit from the national standards overreach by first determining which state entity agreed to adopt the Common Core State Standards. For most states, the state board of education is the body that made the decision.
    2. Prohibit new spending for standards implementation. State leaders should request an independent cost analysis of national standards adoption to inform taxpayers about the short-term and long-term costs of the overhaul.
    3. Determine how to reverse course. The rushed adoption of the Common Core in many cases preceded the election of 2010, which brought in new governors, legislators, and board members. Newly elected conservative leaders should be concerned about the authority handed to centralizers by their predecessors and investigate how to bring standards and curriculum control back into the hands of state leaders.

    The movement to nationalize the content taught in local schools is a challenge to educational freedom in America that is costly in terms of liberty, not to mention dollars. State leaders are right to be cautious about the national standards push and should resist this latest federal overreach.

    Posted in Education, Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to South Carolina Resisting the National Standards Push

    1. Greg Weigle says:

      We all know where this leads. They are already indoctrinating our children in primary, secondary, and in the universities. It's taking control of the children from the parents. The State knows best. How can Americans in Congress allow this? Thanks to Heritage for all their good works.

    2. James Cochran says:

      What a joke.

      Fair is one of the reasons SC is in this mess. He's been in office longer than I've been alive and only wakes up to say something conservative in an election year.


    3. Slick says:

      Equality, liberty and natural rights requires a particular form of government called "republicanism" which is BASED on the consent of the governed – the citizens of this country. It is our NATURAL right to defy the dominance of the Federal government; in fact it is our responsibility to recognize that the real purpose of government is to exercise ONLY the powers we give it . . . what a novel idea!!!!

      When one makes a mistake, as obviously South Carolina did when they approved the Common Core system, then it behooves them to make a correction before it is too late! As we now know all too well, the least the concerns for this administration is whether they are broken federal laws or not. It certainly isn't the first time, and it can safely be assumed they will continue to do so as long as they maintain the power of the White House and the Senate!!!

      Good job, South Carolina! What is one more lawsuit brought on by the Big Boys in Washington!!!!

      One thing I know for sure is that what goes around, comes around! There will come a day of reconning for this band of tyrants, and I want to be watching when they all are actually held accountable to the full measure of the Rule of Law!!!!

    4. John Clancy says:

      These moves in education by Washington speak to the very nature of our free society. The founders knew that education must be as close to the child as possible; therefore, they wanted to place authority in the individual states with the idea that it could more easily move down to the local community and, eventually, to the local school, the family, the child. Arne Duncan is following President Obama's agenda: centralize all power in Washington: power even over hospitals, doctors, bishops, energy, school lunches. These are moves toward soft, if not hard, tyranny, a violation of our constitution, and ultimately the destruction of a free society. The states should flat out refuse all offers from Mr. Duncan

      • Liberty Lady 2 says:

        Exactly right. Now everyone–parents, Legislators and teachers must get educated quickly on what will be a take over of curriculum through teaching to mandated tests. Find out the status of Common Core Standards in your state. Find out a person on Educ committees who wil listen. We must stop this …government over-reach to the Extreme.

    5. James Strickland says:

      Wow–I just interviewed Mike Fair about these standards. I work in the SC State House and compiled a report on the standards for our state's Congressional Delegation in Washington.

      There's much reason to be concerned over the standards and I'm very pleased to see Heritage share this news. I've shared the standards report with Fair himself here.

    6. O2BMe says:

      In the beginning the decisions were supposed to stay local. The parents elected their local board of education where they could have their voices heard. Then somehow control moved to the state and now to Washington (where they live in their own little world). I ended up moving my children to private school where they would at listen to me even if they didn't agree with me. They received a higher level of education than was offered at the local public school. Where you have local rules, state rules, union rules and federal rules you leave no flexibility to be able to teach children.

      • Liberty Lady2 says:

        U S Constitution does not delegate education to the Federal Government. We must exercise states rights to restore educational authority to the several States. Not an easy job. Federal Dept of Ed is just one of several that could be tossed out, with great savings in the Budget and infinitely more control over the way our tax $ are spent. Throwing more and more $ at Education will not solve the problems. There are many excellent teachers out there who are so frustrated because their time is swallowed up with paper work and teaching to the tests. From my investigation of Common Core, I can tell you, students under the system wlll be taught to be little robots…all for the common good and the Big nanny state. We will no longer have the creativity and industry that made this country great. We are at the tipping pint, if not beyond it. Contact your legislators, over & over, Form groups, speak out. Don't let them marginalize you. good handbook is "How to Counter Group Manipulation Tactics " by B K Eakman. My thoughts: A silent majority does not get things done. A vocal minority can. And a vocal majority does get things done. We are in the majority…

    7. Leon Lundquist says:

      I take a dimmer view of National Standards because I watched Thought Crime come into Traffic Law in the 1970's (Colorado Department Of Highways). Statistical Probability substituted for Probable Cause and now it is "We think a crime 'might' be committed, pay us 400% inflated fines when no damage was done!" Lo and behold, we have thought crimes in our public schools after a decade of a Federal Department Of Education influence. Yeah! They kick kids out of school for nothing offenses! Prayer and accidental 'racism.' Don't kid yourself that this is a small issue! It is nothing less than the end of our American freedoms.

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